Friday, October 30, 2009


1. Requirement for a houseman.

This part is specifically for medical students who soon are going to do noble jobs of doctoring. If you think the main criteria you are obliged to have is to know everything especially the theory part of medicine - you are completely wrong. When your university said they want to produce a safe doctor who are able to treat patient, they are totally right with the aim. As a houseman, this is your job: You will be seeing many patients with various different presentations, either as referred cases or first hand patients then you have to decide what to do next and if there is need to ring the senior, just pray that they are in good mood (and not just woke up from sleep!).

If you study in the UK and pampered with the rules of giving feedback - that is to start with positive things and then only go on with the negatives - in which case, no matter how stupid or how wrong you are, most of the time you will still get credit and be motivated that way because people will start with 'the things that u did good was....' and end with '...but you can improve on .......', so if you are being pampered with this kind of feedback, please please please prepare yourself for a total 360 degree change where most of the time you might be criticised and the only means of learning might be through critics, or even humiliation. Especially if your brain works very slowly particularly under pressure (like mine), there is no other things you can do apart from you motivating your own self and continuous prayer asking for a better tomorrow if not a better you. I am sure all the seniors want you to be good doctors even when you are being told off by them - it is probably like parents scolding off the kids so they become useful people later on

In summary, if you want to prepare yourself to become a houseman, learn this:
1. Familiarise yourself with learning by humiliation/critics.
2. Do your jobs very very very quickly or you will be stuck in the ward forever.
3. Be able to present patient very concisely.
4. Know the name (especially specialists) of the person you are going to talk to before talking to them. Make full use of the committee chart even though the picture might be too small or too old for you to recognise the person you are yet to see.
5. Agree wholeheartedly that doctoring is a noble job and you are not to become a doctor because of the typical reason 'my parents want me to'. Holding tight to religious teaching and having Him who always listens helps.
6. Able to say no to jobs during your tagging duration because that is the only time you can learn even though patients are supposed to be your everything once you become a doctor. If you don't learn during the tagging time, you are in big trouble to learn
7. Familiarise yourself being called 'doctor' on your first day of placement.
8. Have lots of practical knowledge not just theory and be able to put them together quickly and be able to impress the consultants.
9. Appreciate that H.O = humble orang. If you did wrong, you are wrong. If you did nothing wrong, you are still wrong. If you did right and being blamed for, you are still wrong. Try not to answer back. This is the hardest thing of all I think, as human beings naturally have the tendency to defend themselves.

(to be continued, if there is time and mood)

I know the way I am writing this, it sounds so bad, but what I know is I am learning and trying to improve every day (slowly maybe, but getting there hopefully), and it is not actually that bad when you are enjoying the learning and jobs and the talking to the patients bits. I just hope I will survive my 5 consecutive EOD (every other day) oncall starting Sunday. Wish me the best!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


"I do solemnly declare that as a doctor of Medicine from Newcastle University, I will exercise my profession to the best of my knowledge and ability for the good of all persons:

- I will make the care of my patients my first concern, keep my professional knowledge up to date, and recognise the limits of my professional competence;
- I will treat every patient politely, with respect and dignity;
- I will treat my patients considerately, respect their views, provide them with information and involve then im decisions about their care;
- I will work with colleagues in healthcare professions in ways that best serve my patients' best interest;
- I will respect and aid those learning to acquire skills and competencies for the care of the patients;
- I will be honest and trustworthy, respect and protect confidential information, ensure that my personal beliefs do not prejudice my patients care, act quickly to protect my patients from risk, and will not abuse my position as a doctor.

In all this matters I will never discriminate unfairly against my patients or my colleagues. I will hold in due regard the honourable obligations of the medical profession doing nothing inconsistent therewith. Above all, I dedicate my professional life to the service of those entrusted to my care."

This is to remind myself the oath we all (the Newcastle students) have taken when we graduated as doctors.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I have just completed my induction and BTN course this afternoon. By right, I have already started working six days ago, as the pay slip for new doctors starts on the very first day they attend the induction. Induction was ok although I was expecting more talks about how health system works in Malaysia especially knowing that more than 99% of the participants were oversea graduates. And I do not have any intention to make any comments about BTN - loads of the government servants must have already known what it is all about!

I had survived my five years MBBS course which tortured me the most in my third year. I had survived the nearly two months well deserved break which had turned out to be too boring at some points that I had crazy thoughts haunting me (thank goodness Harry Potter books saved me from those thoughts - and by the way, raya and having a full house was great!)

I had survived the six days period of induction and BTN course, learning more about being a government servant in general or the so called 'house officers' in particular, and being proud to be a Malaysian, and not to forget the latest slogan that we have - the '1 Malaysia'. I had survived the long journey back to home, being the passenger for the first time at the backseat of the soon to be TAW 997. I had survived the very long thought about future life throughout the whole journey (minus two hours of the badly needed fine quality sleep, finally!) although practically I am still left with no wise decision.

After hibernating for nearly two months, today is very tiring! But I believe today is just the prologue. Tomorrow is chapter 1 - where the new era begins!

ps: to the patients coming to Hospital Sultanah Nur Zahirah, Kuala Terengganu, please beware of this new doctor coming to serve you.